UK Launches Games Portal To Discover Cyber Security Talent
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 05 October 2015

The government-sponsored UK Cyber Security Challenge has unveiled Cyphinx, a gaming project which uses a Minecraft world to test cyber skills.

In an attempt to fill the cyber skills gap. the Cyber Security Challenge UK (Challenge) was set up to run national competitions, learning programmes, and networking initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable more EU citizens resident in the UK to become cyber security professionals. 




Cyphinx, described as a "virtual skyscraper" is its latest initiative to identify and recruit the info security experts of the future from among the target audience of gamers. This 3D virtual world is hosted on Challenges new Play on Demand platform (PoD) is open to  UK and EU citizens who are also resident in the UK. It is designed for a wide range of age groups and levels of existing capability.

Its hardware requirements specify: 

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 @ 1.7GHz
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • RAM: 4GB 

In addition it only supports limited OS/browser combinations:

  • Windows 7 and later (x86 architecture)
    • Firefox
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Mac OSX (x86 architecture)
    • Firefox
    • Safari (recommended)
  • Due to the planned removal of NPAPI support from Chrome, Chrome is not supported.

You also need to have the Unity Web Player installed. 




So what's on offer inside Cyphinx?

According to its description, it is an environment:

in which budding cyber security professionals can access and play games and competitions that allow them to test, improve and demonstrate their cyber skills to each other and potential employers. It is the first 3D virtual environment to be designed solely to find and nurture cyber talent.

The initial set of games blend contemporary gaming ideas with traditional cyber security ciphers and code-breaking puzzles and makes novel use of Minecraft:

Visitors to Cyphinx can now try their hand at stopping the bad guy ‘insider’ causing havoc within an office network, and performing digital forensics on suspect files. But they can also solve cyber puzzles in the world of Minecraft, where codes are hidden in unusual places and need to be found before they can be solved. This is the first time Minecraft has ever been used for cyber skills development.


Cyphinx is also claimed to be about more than access to gameplay:

Our lobby area is designed to be a virtual hub of UK cyber talent, learning and employers. Visitors can share ideas, consult each other on tips for games and competitions, showcase their performance to date, and even meet and discuss opportunities with UK employers.

Cyphinx already showcases several of its sponsors, which include GCHQ and HMGCC (Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre), the National Crime Agency, the Bank of England, SANS Institute, Airbus, BT and more. New sponsors are invited to take space - even complete floors in the skyscraper - and provide more opportunities for games to discover employment opportunities that require their talents.



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